Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Vegan Road Trip, Day 6

Tonight is our last night on the road... by this time tomorrow we'll be in New Jersey and officially starting our slacker summer.

We grabbed breakfast at Indie Coffee in Madison before hitting the road.  They have a few vegan wrap options, but since it was breakfast I went with the PB&J.  It comes warm, panini-pressed style, and it was just the ticket to start a long day of driving.

PB&J is a classic for a reason, show some respect.
We didn't stop much today, and the state welcome signs for Indiana, Illinois and Ohio were not conducive to stopping for a pic. 

I did get this one outside for a rest stop though.  Classy.
Pups napped most of the day, although he did get to sniff around a bit at random points along the Illinois tollway.

Pups in nature
Lunch was at True BBQ, a place we found along our route that has a whole separate vegan menu.  Vegans are everywhere!  AP got the BBQ seitan sandwich and I got the smokey tempeh burger.  The BBQ seitan was awesome- crispy and tangy topped with coleslaw.  My tempeh burger was ok- it would be better labeled as a tempeh-bean burger.  Next time I'd get the seitan, or at least add BBQ sauce to the burger.  Both sandwiches came with house made potaqto chips that were bomb.

AP's seitan, NOMS!!
My tempeh burger- needed some pizazz.  And better lettuce.
We are in Perrysburg, Ohio for the evening.  Pups and I scouted around and found a cute park nearby.

The majestic huskamute.
Dinner was from Zingo's, a Mediterranean place that has vegetarian and vegan options clearly labeled on the menu.  We grabbed some grub and ate at the park, enjoying the chirping bugs and sunset over the river.

Ok this looks gross.  But it was delicious, I swear.  AP got the falafel wrap with hummus and tabbouleh.
I got the rice almond salad with lemon dressing- so refreshing on a warm evening.
Tomato lentil soup.. sorta like spaghetti-o's.  I thought it was a good thing, AP thought it was a bad thing.
The piece de resistance- vegan chocolate cupcakes!!  I have half left for breakfast tomorrow.
Time to have a drink and watch cartoons.  Catch you tomorrow on our last day on the road!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Vegan Road Trip, Day 5

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin!  Only two more days left on the road until we are settled in New Jersey.  Pups is getting tired of the open road, or at least tired of hopping in and out of our rental truck.

This morning we swung through Starbucks for breakfast, an easy vegan staple.  I got a ginormous unsweetened iced green tea along with their oatmeal.

Healthy and tasty!
I added the dried fruit and nuts, skipped the sugar packet though.
On the way to breakfast I made a friend!  I had to take this pic stealthily since it's on the lawn of a corporate building and I didn't want to get hassled by some poor office person who has to chase douchey tourists off the lawn sixteen times a day.

We took a stroll through Falls Park before we left.  It was adorable!  Pups and I did get in trouble with AP for sneaking into the creek and getting all wet though.  Whatever, AP, we do what we want.
Pups in his element.
Lunch on the road was Chipotle, another vegan chain staple.  Say what you will, Chipotle is a gift from the gods and I might not survive this summer without it.

I get the same order every time: salad with sofritas, fajitas, corn salsa, mild salsa, and guac.  I save my carbs for a side of chips ;)
Crossing the might Mississippi

We are crashing in Madison for the night, right by UW Madison.  I took Pups on a walk through the engineering campus and Camp Randall.

Pups learning some history facts.
Scholarly Pups!
AP grabbed us vegan sausages and fries at OSS Madison for dinner!  We watched Rick and Morty while snarfing these bad boys down. 

Apple Sage Field Roast, baby.
Now it's time to bed down and rest up for tomorrow.  Pups is one step ahead of us as usual.

Pups has found his Spot for the evening.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Vegan Road Trip, Day 4

We are at the halfway mark in our cross country trek.  This morning we packed up in Spearfish South Dakota and ended up in Sioux Falls- the first day we did not cross state lines.

Pups waiting morosely for his dad to return with breakfast.
AP grabbed us a quick breakfast at Common Grounds before we hit the road.  I had been craving oatmeal (wtf?) so he found this little cup thing.  It looked weird but it was surprisingly tasty and filling.

But actually yummy!
We drove through Deadwood; I am a fan of the HBO show and was excited to see the town but it's less historical and more bikini bike wash these days, especially so close to the Sturgis rally.  Still pretty interesting, but I felt weird snapping pics since it was so crowded.

We blew off Mount Rushmore in favor of the Crazy Horse Memorial. It's a work in progress over multiple generations, and it's very moving to see a project like this in progress. The project receives no funding from the government and relies on donations to further monument construction, run the facilities and support the native community.

Check out their mission statement here.

Chubbly huskamutes are not allowed on the bus that takes you up close and personal with the monument (can't blame 'em) so this is as close as we got.
This is going to be enormous.  I'm honored that I got a chance to see it in progress.

There is a 9-11 memorial there as well.
There's also another statue of two fighting stallions.  Pictures don't so it justice.  Just go there now and experience it for yourself.

Lunch was at a lonely rest stop in SD at a chain that I had not heard of before.  I got the veggie sandwich sans cheese and mayo, but it seems that the bread is not vegan there due to some weird additive that's animal derived (hence why I'm not mentioning their name).  Still, I'm not overly concerned.  I am vegan for ethical reasons, not for weird personal purity issues.   I will not eat there again, but I'm not going to freak about hidden ingredients.  Live and learn.  In any case, this veggie sandwich staved off starvation and got me through a log driving shift.

Plain, yes, but surprisingly substantial for a road trip.

Dessert was shaved ice!  Cool and refreshing on a hot day.m  I avoided red flavors in fear of cochineal (see, I can be a good vegan!) and went with mango.

We also stopped by... [drum-roll] the Corn Palace!!!  The only one like it in the world (because why would you make another??)

OMG we are so excited!!

All corncobs, bitches.

Dinner was at the legendary Taco John's!  AP had been there before and had talked up the potato oles so you know I had to try that shit.  They were very accommodating to my substitution requests to make things veggie- AP got the super burrito meal sans meat, and I got the two taco meal (hard tacos) with beans instead of meat, no cheese.  Add a side of guac and some pico de gallo from the salsa bar, and you have a sweet meal, way better thank Taco Bell (aka the salt lick of fast food, blech).

We're bedding down for the night in Sioux Falls and our hotel was recently renovated with local art... who doesn't love old white dudes watching them sleep?? :/


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Vegan Road Trip, Day 3

Our trek across middle America continued today!  Today was a driving day, not a sightseeing day.  We drove across all of Montana, cut off the corner of Wyoming, and ended in Spearfish, South Dakota.  My East Coast mind is still boggled by the size of the states out West.  It took an entire day to drive across Montana.

Breakfast was toast with peanut butter and jam snagged from the hotel's continental breakfast before we got on the road.  I don't love eating a huge breakfast, especially when I'm about to spend 4 hours in the car without stopping.  Plus it's free, which makes it taste even better.

The morning was uneventful which is a good thing since I was driving.  ;)  We stopped for lunch in Billings, MT at the Pita Pit, a vegan-friendly chain that I'd never tried before.  I tried the red pepper hummus pita with tons of fresh veggies and their secret sauce.  Very crisp and refreshing on a hundred degree day!

There's no good way to take a pic of a burrito.  Trust me, this was good.
There wasn't a cool sign for Wyoming going into Yellowstone, so we snagged one today instead.  Pups is totally over these pics, by the way.  He hates jumping in and out of the rental truck.

So not worth it, Mom.
OMG and again when we entered SD?  You suck, Mom.
We're crashing in Spearfish, SD tonight.  Another cute town with walking trails for Pups to explore.  He has been a little trooper this trip, well behaved and loving all these new smells and sights as we travel cross country.  Or possibly he just hated California (AP's hypothesis).

Puppy by the creek!
Dinner was burritos at Barbacoa's in Spearfish.  I got the curry veggie burrito and it was divine.  And huge.  But I ate every bite.

Flavor to the max!  Again- no good way to take a pic of a burrito.
See you tomorrow as we continue East...

Vegan Road Trip, Day 2

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming in one day!

Two bears, can you tell which one is me?
Today was a short driving day, a quick hop from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone.  I ate dinner leftovers for breakfast, then we headed out onto the open road.

Oh yes.
I hate posting pics of nature- you never capture how large and intense things are.  Nevertheless, here are a few pics.

Rolling in the entrance.  I would have loved to swim, but was too lazy to get out my swimsuit.
First stop was the Paint Pots. I can't even.  I know, I know, the sulfur water is boiling, but it took all I had to stop myself from sticking my fingers in the colorful swirls.

No Pups allowed, and I get why.  Pups would have tried to drink the sulfur water.

This land is bubbling.  Insane.

Hot Springs!  But not the kind you soak in.  Unless you are a zombie.
No filter and yet this doesn't even show how bright the blue coloring was.
Oh, just a poof of geyser smoke, no biggie.
There was magic all over this damn park.  Geysers and waterfalls and buffalo, oh my.

AP and Pups are unimpressed by the baby geyser that's five feet away from them.
We had lunch at the Old Faithful cafeteria!  There were quite a few veggie options:

-Spinach veggie wrap: looked pretty sparse so I skipped it in favor of more substantial options.
-Salads: pass, they looked boring.
-Teriyaki bowl: choice of noodles or rice (I picked rice) with veggies, portobellos and sauce.  Pretty basic, but tasty and fresh.
-Veggie stew: I skipped this as I was not sure about the broth used, but the internets tell me it's vegan,
-Vegetarian chili: got this for AP, sans shredded cheese.  Very flavorful and filling especially with a roll on the side.
-Soy milk, apple sauce, chips, fruit: plenty of sides to round out your meal!

Ta-da!  Old Faithful erupting!
There are multiple waterfalls at the park, which I love, but having Pups meant we could not check out any that required hiking.  The Kepler Cascades were right off the road, so I was able to sneak off and snap a few pics.

Wish I had a barrel...
I was ecstatic to have experienced such a beautiful park... but was sad to leave.  I would definitely come back one day if I had the opportunity- so many buffalo to see!

Sad face.
Dinner was pizza and salad from Wild West Pizzaria  in the hotel room.  Travelling with a Pup means you eat a lot of take-out.  We got pineapple, peppers and onions (with cheese for AP) and it was pretty good considering what we were expecting,

Fancy spread
So long, Yellowstone, it's time to hit the open road once again!

We make friends everywhere!